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St. Paul Rage teams compete at first premier of the season

ST. PAUL - The St. Paul Rage U14 boys’ volleyball team took to the court in Okotoks the first weekend of February, starting the club volleyball season on a strong note.

According to coach Luc Billo, the team was missing a few of its players, but worked together, excelling in their blocking and serving.

“It was a beautiful surprise,” said Billo, when speaking about how the team performed. The boys took on players from much larger centres. Teams from Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Sherwood Park, St. Albert and Grande Prairie took part in the tournament, making St. Paul the smallest rural community on the schedule.

“It was such a positive,” said Billo, when speaking of the weekend. He noted it was great to see the team handle the pressure of playing against the big city teams.

The team will compete in a total of four premier tournaments this season.

Overall, St. Paul Rage finished seventh out of 24 teams, which puts them in the top tier moving forward. The team is made up of players from St. Paul, Bonnyville and Two Hills

The St. Paul Rage is also fielding a girls’ U14 team. The girls travelled to Edmonton to take part in their first premier of the season, finishing 15th out of 41 teams.

"The tournament went really well," said coach Amy Bespalko. "Most of our girls have never played with each other, but they gelled so well this weekend and played like they've been playing together for years."

The team will be playing in Division 2 at the next premier.

"I look forward to continuing on improving as the season goes, and hopefully working our way up to the top of Division 2," said Bespalko. The girls on the team are mainly from St. Paul, with a few from Elk Point, Two Hills, and the Mallaig area.